Weekly Lege Update: February 6, 2015

Phil & Family

This week the Speaker of the House announced committee assignments for the 84th Legislative Session. I am excited to announce that I will be serving as Chair of the State and Federal Power and Responsibility Committee and also serving on the House Committee on Energy Resources and the House Committee on Environmental Regulation. These committees deal with extremely important topics facing Texas and I am eager and honored to have the opportunity to get to work on these critical issues.

I was reelected to serve another term on the Board of Directors for the Texas Conservative Coalition. Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) is a legislative caucus formed to shape public policy and promote limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise and traditional values.

I signed on as a joint author to HB 861, legislation to criminalize sexually explicit conversations by adults who go online or use social media to lure minors. This bill will fill gaps in the law that currently allows predators to groom minors for illicit purposes.

We had a great visit with several constituents last week. Two of our superintendents, Dr. Derek Citty and Mr. Richard Tedder dropped by the capitol while in Austin attending an education conference. Mr. and Mrs. Smelly were in Austin advocating on behalf of the Farm Bureau and walked me through their legislative priorities.

I had a great visit yesterday with former Governor Mike Huckabee as he made a stop in Austin on his tour bus.

Beginning next Friday, I’ll send out weekly updates on legislation and issues under debate. I will do my best to keep you informed. Please email me about any bills or issues on which you’d like me to report.

State Representative Phil King and Aledo ISD Superintendent Dr. Derek Citty

State Representative Phil King and Aledo ISD Superintendent Dr. Derek Citty

State Representative Phil King with former Governor Mike Huckabee

State Representative Phil King with former Governor Mike Huckabee

State Representative Phil King represents Parker and Wise counties in the Texas House of Representatives.

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One response

  1. Senator_Blutarsky

    King – where is your picture with the Craddicks ?

    Like Father, Like Daughter
    Ethics Complaints Filed Against Tom and Christi Craddick

    For former Texas Speaker of the House Tom Craddick and current Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, politics is not the only family tradition. It appears they make time for money laundering, too.

    Complaints filed with the Texas Ethics Commission charge the Craddicks, along with State House political crony Rep. Phil King, with forming a conspiracy to illegally funnel $25,000 to Christi Craddick’s 2012 campaign for the Texas Railroad Commission.

    Making contributions or expenditures in someone else’s name is a violation of Texas Election Code Sec. 253.001, punishable by up to a year in jail and / or a fine up to $4000.
    Scheme designed to hide Tom Craddick as source of funds

    The $25,000 donation was concealed to hide the fact that Tom Craddick was the brains—and the billfold—behind his daughter’s race for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission.

    In the weeks leading up to July 2012 Republican Party primary runoff, Christi Craddick needed cash. Her opponent, Rep. Warren Chisum, was making headway by attacking her for her dependence on her father’s money—and he had a point. Christi Craddick’s parents had already funneled more than $340,000 in direct and in kind contributions to her campaign.

    Now Christi Craddick needed more money, but she needed to conceal the source was her father Tom Craddick.
    Ethics Complaint Details Path of Hidden Funds

    This is how the ethics complaints expose the illegal money trail:

    First, Tom Craddick made a $25,000 donation to Rep. Phil King. Then King passed the money on to the Dallas-Fort Worth Conservative Voters PAC, which then used the money to help Christi Craddick in her primary.

    Tom Craddick did not report his contribution to Phil King until after the 2012 vote. In fact, King still hasn’t reported taking the money from Craddick.
    Not the First Scandal for Christi and Tom Craddick

    This isn’t the first time the Craddicks have been investigated for ethical violations involving money and politics, friends and family.

    Back in 2008, Tom and Christi Craddick were the focus of another formal ethics complaint charging that Tom Craddick paid his daughter a total of $625,000 in campaign money as a “consultant”—something that is against state law.

    Tom Craddick also worked to change Texas insurance eligibility laws so to allow his adult daughter, Christi Craddick, to remain a “dependent” so she could continue to receive Texas taxpayer-funded health care.
    Will Abbott Unload Christi Craddick?

    Christi Craddick’s past and current ethical problems make her damaged goods, yet she was recently named to head the Texas Republican Party 2014 Victory Fund, a move many saw as a bid to court women voters.

    Greg Abbott declared her appointment a great idea, saying, “I couldn’t think of a better selection than Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick to help lead Republicans.”

    He might think again. The Texas Ethics Commission will—once again—look into Craddick political corruption. While Abbott himself is facing criticism for approving bond contracts for law firms that contribute to his campaign.

    “Greg Abbott and his allies are overtly hostile to Texas women and their families. In order to find a woman to defend them, they had to trot out Christi Craddick, who sits under a dark ethics cloud,” said Matt Angle, Lone Star Project Director.

    Read more: http://lonestarproject.net/father-daughter#ixzz3RLqV9hLT

    Ethics Violations and Claims of Corruption

    In 2005, King drew criticism for a dinner hosted by lobbyist Neal “Buddy” Jones whose clients include AT&T and FPL Energy, companies that are regulated by the Regulated Industries committee that King was the Chair of at the time.[4][5]

    In 2008, an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram found that the president of AT&T had written a letter urging employees to help re-elect King, then head of the House Regulated Industries Committee.[6][7] During the 2008 primary election cycle, King was given over $200,000 from utility and energy company PACs.[8][9] King’s primary opponent, Joe Tison, stated, ” “While he was accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from utility companies and their representatives, the rest of us were paying an average of 56 percent more to heat our homes and keep the lights on in our businesses.”[10][11] Texas Monthly reporter Paul Burka observed that even the Fort Worth Star Telegram had documented this problem, claiming, “You have to hand it to Phil King. No matter how many stories the Star-Telegram writes about his taking campaign cash from the industries he represents, the chairman of Regulated Industries keeps right on doing it.”[12] King also took gifts from CenterPoint Energy Vice President Scott E. Rozzell, a violation of the state’s law governing gifts to public officials.[13][14][15]

    In 2009, Phil King was found guilty of using campaign funds for personal expenses and fined $1,300 by the Texas Ethics Commission.[16][17][18][19]

    In 2014, Phil King, along with Tom and Christi Craddick, were accused of laundering $25,000 in campaign funds.[20][21] Furthermore, Tom Craddick reported making this $25,000 donation to King on his semiannual campaign finance report, though King’s campaign finance reports do not make note of it.[22]

    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them
    Matt 7:20

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